What can I expect?

The club offers athletics coaching for a number of different groups. Groups are roughly based on age group but mainly on level of ability. There’s a group for all abilities; a general outline of each is listed below by each of the head coaches. Within all the club’s training groups there is opportunity to progress and develop. The club coaches meet regularly to discuss and plan training for both individuals and groups.

Coaches: Chris Peggie (UKA Level 2)
Assisted by George Key, Lynsey Lawrie, Petra Cameron, Nadia Clarke & Steph Addison, (all UKA Level 1)

Our young athletes (typically 9-15 years old) are given an introduction to all athletic events (sprints/hurdles, jumps, throws, endurance) in a friendly, enjoyable and family atmosphere. Movement skills and physical conditioning / fitness are also worked on. Where particular talent and preferences are evident, further specialised training is provided to our older athletes and currently within the Junior section two specialist squads for Sprints and Endurance are operating and training together (approximately 10-15 athletes in each).

Numerous competition opportunities are available and all our young athletes are encouraged and given the opportunity to compete and represent the club. These competitions include outdoor track events, as well as indoor track and cross country over the winter. The competitions range from low key events for beginners to League Competitions and National Championships. We have been delighted in recent years to have a number of our young athletes win medals at the National Championships and get selected to represent Scotland and the Scottish Schools.

Juniors (Middle Distance)
Coach: David Arnott (UKA Level 2)
Assisted by Hannah Addison (UKA Level 1) and Caitlin Arnott (UKA Level 1)

The junior middle distance squad is a development orientated training group for the more able of our young athletes aiming to progress beyond general fitness and co-ordination to improving performance particularly in the middle distance running events.  This covers 800m to 5000m (including steeplechase) on the track together with cross-country, hill and road running.  Our squad members range from age 14 to 20 and the group includes a range of abilities from enthusiastic club runners to national medal winners and junior internationalists.

Squad members train as a group to a generic training programme, but to ensure everyone gets the maximum benefit from the sessions, various adjustments are made to timings, staggers or recovery, etc based on their ability. The programme also expects athletes to train in between formal club nights.

In the summer the squad generally trains on the track on both club nights (Tuesday and Thursday) together with at least one weekend sessions mostly on grass or trail.  In the winter we train both club nights and regular weekend sessions on a variety of terrain. Our sessions usually involve a combination of interval training, mixed pace runs, and long runs as well as speed work. We include drills, technique work and core strength in our programme.

Whilst runners of all abilities are welcome in this group, we would expect members to work hard towards improving and to demonstrate a commitment to regular training and racing.

Seniors (5K to Marathon)
Coach: Dave Henderson (UKA Level 2)
Assisted by Jan-Bert van den Berg, Graeme Fletcher, Megan Smith (all UKA Level 1) 

This is a mixed ability group covering everyone from those relatively new to running to those who want to improve their times for racing. Runners in the group mainly focus on road racing (5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon) during the summer and cross country in the winter, but we also train for hill running and track events. In the summer the group trains on the track on Tuesdays (various speed endurance workouts from 200m to 3k interval reps) as are an excellent basis to build up speed for 10k and half marathon road races. On Thursdays the group go out for a long run on routes round the city (Union Canal, Water of Leith Walkway, etc.), often including interval work.

During the winter the group focuses on Hill Reps for the cross country season and also long distance. On a Tuesday night we also do circuit training after the main session. Runners of a reasonable fitness are welcome in this group. It’s a great group for those looking to improve your running times.

Seniors (Middle & Long Distance)
Coach: Moray Anderson (UKA Event Group Coach – Endurance)
Assisted by Keith Hood (UKA Level 1)

The senior endurance squad is a performance orientated training group who are aiming to achieve at district, national and in some cases international level. The squad primarily concentrates on middle distance although all endurance events up to marathon (and beyond) are covered. Each athlete in the group works to an individual programme although much of the time the training is done as one or two groups. In the summer season the squad will work on the track on both club nights undertaking a variety of sessions designed to prepare our athletes for their major targets during the season. During the winter sessions may include; long runs, hill reps, hilly runs, tempo or fast runs, long intervals and some quicker work especially for athletes aiming to compete indoors.

The squad also meets on other days by arrangement although all squad members are expected to train at least once most days. Whilst we would expect any new squad members to be of reasonable ability far more important is a desire to improve and a willingness to make a commitment to regular training.

To make sure you are able to get the most out of training in this squad we suggest the following minimum performance levels:

  • 800m – 2m04s
  • 1500m/1mile – 4m18s/ 4m40s
  • 5000m – 17m00s
  • 10000m – 35m30s

Coaches: Lewis Innes (UKA Level 2)
Assisted by Chris Gowans (UKA Level 1)

The sprint squad contains athletes with a range of abilities and ages spanning U15 to Vets. This includes a handful of national medal winners at both team relay events and individual events all the way to people who come just for a wee sprint and the social aspect. The group puts in a lot of hard work, training longer than other groups 7-9pm as opposed to 8:30pm but this allows for a combination of stamina and technical work. This also means however that we party harder too!

The focus of this group is primarily upon the 60m to 400m range but it also includes entering teams into 4×100, 4×200 and 4x400m relays events. It also covers technical work for throws and jumps with some great explosive athletes using the same training to push themselves further in different events.

The group is always looking for talented athletes of all ages and is happy to be used as a temporary base for athletes at university. Please get in contact to discuss any questions you have or to arrange a visit to meet the group.

Frame Running
Coaches: Graeme Reid & Fran Snitjer (UKA Level 2)
Assisted by: Gill Menzies & George Key (UKA Level1)

Frame Running is primarily for athletes with co-ordination impairments associated with Cerebral Palsy and related impairments. It provides a much needed opportunity for aerobic exercise for individuals with severe motor and co-ordination impairments, it can be enjoyed recreationally or as an athletics event.

Frame Running is a form of adaptive running, the athlete is supported by a three wheeled frame which provides the athlete with support and gives them stability. The frame will allow the athlete to ambulate,  for some of the athletes this will be the first time they will have experienced such a sensation – running independently and with freedom.

Initially you would join us at our session at The Royal High School on a Friday at 3pm. You would then progress to join us at Saughton Enclosure Running Track  on a Tuesday evening at 6pm


From the beginning of April till the end of September we train at the Saughton Enclosure Running Track.

From the end of September to the end of March we meet at Forrester High School on Tuesday and Craigmount High School on Thursday.


Training times will vary depending on the group and the coaches work commitments, so exact times will be given when you enquire. Roughly speaking our Development Squad is 6pm to 7.15pm Junior  Squad 7.30pm to 9pm. Most other squads are 7pm to 9pm.

2 thoughts on “CAAC Training: What, Where, When

  1. Hello,

    My son, aged 12, is keen to try out a running club. He likes to run, but if definitely a beginner. Do you have beginner groups and what would we need to do? We are in Craiglockhart area. Thank you.


  2. Hi, I’ve recently moved to the area and was looking for a running club to join so I’ve joined the group on Strava, can you let me know if i need to do anything more formal? Also, when meetings are I think Tuesdays and Thursday nights? I’m looking to work on 5,10k, half and marathon training. I’m 43. (19min, 41min, 1.35 and 3h 20)

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